The Buffalo Planning Board Monday agreed to start environmental reviews for the first proposed project at the former Women & Children's Hospital site – triggering the start of what is expected to be a major transformation of nearly eight acres.
Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Ellicott Development Co. want to construct a six-story building at 451 Elmwood Ave., on a vacant lot at the corner of Bryant Street.
That's twice as high as the three-story limit under the Green Code, so developers will be seeking Zoning Board of Appeals variances.
Plans for the $16 million building call for storefronts on the first floor, commercial office space on the second, and up to 36 apartments on the four upper levels of the 80,500-square-foot building.
If approved, officials hope to break ground in the summer, said Amy Nagy, Sinatra's director of development.
Nagy said Sinatra and Ellicott want to get the first building going to start the redevelopment – called Elmwood Crossing – while they advance the rest of the $100 million project through planning and reviews.
The project would include about 200 apartments, 40 to 50 condominiums, 40-45 townhouses, a grocery, boutique shops, office space and an EduKids day care center.
Nagy said it's "very important to have community support" for the venture and engage neighbors.
"We certainly want to try to clarify our position on why this makes sense for the whole site," she said, after the meeting. "We know there is quite a story to tell here. We look forward to conversations in living rooms, coffee shops, or wherever we can clarify."